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What are the responsibilities of the executor of a will?

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Quick Answer

The executor of a will is responsible for protecting the property of a deceased person until all of the taxes and debts have been paid, according to Nolo. The executor also transfers the remaining property to the beneficiaries named in the will.

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Full Answer

It is not required by law for the executor to be a financial or legal expert, but whoever is appointed must do the job with a high degree of impartiality, diligence and honesty, states Nolo. This is known as a fiduciary duty, and it means the executor must act in good faith on behalf of the deceased person. Anyone accepting the job of executor must be able to work well with people, especially the named beneficiaries, and have a great deal of time on his hands. Some executors even turn the entire job over to probate attorneys.

The executor must find the assets of a deceased and mange them as he prepares to disburse them to beneficiaries, explains Nolo. The executor must determine who inherits the property, file the will with the local probate court, handle day-to-day details that come up within the estate, set up an estate bank account, pay all of the deceased's debts including taxes and disburse the remaining funds.

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